The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

September 18, 2013

Friends raising funds for retired policeman

JOHNSTOWN — Retired Richland Township police Sgt. Mike Goncher gave selflessly to his community for many years and now needs some assistance of his own.

A group dubbed Friends of Mike will host a pig roast tailgate fundraiser for Goncher from 4 to 8 p.m. Sept. 27 at Solomon Run Fire Hall, 176 Mount Airy Drive, Richland.

Goncher was diagnosed in July with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal condition for which the only treatment is a lung transplant.  

He has been placed on the list at UPMC in Pittsburgh for a double lung transplant because of the advanced stage of his disease.

“It progressed so quickly,” said Roberta K. Ream, vice president and trust officer at Somerset Trust Co., where a medical fund has been established for Goncher. “He’s in the process of trying to get a transplant.”

The preparation care, surgery, after care, housing for the required stay after surgery and prescription costs are exorbitant and are not all covered under Medicare.  

The Gonchers are selling their Richland Township home to prepare for these expenses, and the community will come together at the fundraiser to help raise additional funds.

All money raised will go to the Gonchers to help defray the medical costs associated with the disease that are not covered by Medicare.

Goncher was part of local law enforcement for nearly 40 years before retiring in 2005.  

As an active member of the community, he also served as a paramedic, motorcycle safety instructor and security guard.  

Goncher also served as a paramedic for seven years with the police department and was a volunteer paramedic with the Richland Township Volunteer Fire Department during his off hours.

The tailgate party will feature a pig roast, beverages, desserts and basket raffles. Each $20 ticket includes admission to the party and a chance to win two tickets for the Pittsburgh Steelers game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 15 and an 18-inch diamond necklace.

The winner does not need to be present to win.

Ream said additional raffles will be held for baskets and other prizes.

The public can help by sending a donation to the Sgt. Mike Goncher Medical Fund at Somerset Trust Co., 1416 Scalp Ave., Johnstown, Pa. 15904.

“They also can drop off a check,” Ream said. “Everyone at the bank knows about it.”

There also is a support group for Goncher on Facebook.

Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/RuthRiceTD.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 16, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014

  • Alcatraz Challenge offers escape from routine

    Greater Johnstown Community YMCA is gearing up for its indoor biathlon, the Alcatraz Challenge.

    April 16, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads